Contactless Payments Open for Business on London's Transport Network

By Gerald Lynch on at

Today's the day that "card clash" enters Londoners' everyday lexicon -- contactless card payments are now accepted on London's transport systems.

If you have a contactless credit card, you can now use it to pay for a journey on the Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and national rail services -- basically anywhere that already accepts the Oyster card. This is in addition to contactless payments having been accepted on buses since December 2013 (though cash fares are no longer taken on bus routes). Remember to keep your Oyster card and contactless bank cards separate, or you could end up paying with the wrong card, or paying for a journey twice -- the dreaded "card clash" in action, as ticket barriers and Oyster hotspots won't be able to determine which card in your wallet is intended for a payment.

TfL has put together an FAQ and list of compatible cards ahead of today's roll-out, letting you check if your bank card will be able to pay for journeys. 48.3m contactless bank cards  are already in circulation in the UK, with an estimated fifth issued within the M25 -- 70,000 contactless payments are made on buses everyday already.

Contactless fares will be set at the adult pay-as-you-go rate (so concessions or children with their own bank accounts will want to avoid them), and daily and weekly payment caps will automatically apply once a commuter has spent the equivalent to a travel card.

As well as contactless card payments, pre-paid contactless wristbands, stickers and (in time) NFC-enabled phones will all be other payment method options on London transport.

Image credit: Tube from Shutterstock